Building a weekly menu from pantry staples
This summer I moved from Florence, Italy to Milan, Italy. The move between cities was very expensive and my savings took a big hit. I had to go into an extreme limited spending mode. During this period my grocery
budget which is very generous was reduced down to less than a dollar per day. Many pantry staples were up until this point nothing more than a vanity project. My original intention of building up my pantry for a “just in case situation” became a necessity for my daily survival from starvation or malnutrition.
My pantry consisted of foods that have a long shelf life, high versatility and strong nutrition value. Dry beans, couscous, dried fruit, flour, sugar etc. These have become the my building block for my weekly menus. Flour, couscous and sugar are the three pantry staples took center stage this week. Using these three pantry staples along with a very small spend at the market (5€) created hand made ravioli, apple cake and couscous fritters.
I watched “Mind of a Chef” last weekend. Chef after chef repeated the same refrain that food waste is an abomination to food. One chef called food waste “unloveable”. Great food does not have to be expensive. Nutritious food isn’t always complicated. Couscous is good source of protein and dietary fiber. Homemade ravioli takes a little time to make but is easy to do and really delicious. To satisfy your sweet tooth craving two apples and a simple batter makes a fall comfort food favorite “apple cake”. All these recipes are freezer friendly and budget friendly more importantly the food simply taste good. These recipes made from pantry staples can modified to feed a one person to a large family.
Stay creative fellow Gastronomer.